tv Tonight From Washington CSPAN September 9, 2011 8:00pm-11:00pm EDT
[inaudible conversations] >> we go now to the national press club in washington, d.c. for a live discussion on how the media covered 9/11 hosted by george washington university. this is a live broadcast of the kalb report with the kennedy school of government, and this is live coverage here on c-span2. ♪ ♪ >> from the national press club in washington, d.c., this is the kalb report with marvin kalb.
[applause] >> hello, and welcome to the national press club and to another edition of the kalb report. i'm marvin kalb, and our report, anchoring 9/11, the day and the decade. a poll from the pugh research center says 97% of the american people, 97%, can tell you where they were and what they were doing when they first heard of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the united states. people my age of a certain vintage can even remember december 7th, 1941. the day that the japanese attacked pearl harbor. the assassination of kennedy is another clear critical moments in history. it's often said that 9/11 changed everything. maybe that's a bit of an
exaggeration, but it changed a lot. it was a defining moment in american history. most of you learned about 9/11 from television, radio, or perhaps the tfn -- telephone call from a family or friend saying something dreadful happened in new york and to turn on the tv set, and when you did you probably saw an anchor imparting information and telling you what's been happening. in a moment of national crisis or importance, the anchor helps knit the country together creating a sense of shared experience, the one dan rather once said, "who holds the people's trust in a crisis to sort through the hurricane of fact, rumor, information, misinformation, interviews, and new reports -- a huge responsibility. we all accept that." tonight, we immediate a number of the anchors who held and
knitted the country together on 9/11, who helped introduce us to the world of global terrorism. to my right, geographical distinction only, charles gibson -- [laughter] who anchored "good morning, america" on abc from 1977 to 1998 and returned a year later in 1999 to share anchoring responsibilities with dianne sawyer. he was on the the air when the planes flew into the towers. to the left is frank sesno, now director of school of media and public affairs, but then still washington bureau chief for cnn where he worked for 21 years. on 9/11, he was looking out at the pentagon and seeing what he called guygan tick black billowing clouds of smoke. a plane just crashed into the pentagon. to my immediate right, brent
hume, now a senior political analyst for fox news, been in the business for more than 43 years. on 9/11, he was responsible for fox news coverage in washington on air. he spoke about the capitol being evacuated, war planes patrolling the skies, warships dispatched towards the patomic river. washington, he said, where not even the president of the united states was considered safe. to my immediate left, my old colleague, dan rather, now with hdnet, but for 44 years with cbs news. on 9/11, he was on air for 16 hours in a row, the first of four days of such saturation coverage. at one point, dan saying, "this is all so unbelievable. we have to double and triple check that -- can it be true? are you absolutely sure that a
second plane has just hit?" brent hume, let me start with you, when did you first hear of the attacks on 9/11? where were you? what did you do? >> i was in a restaurant on the ground floor of the fox news, the building 1 called the hall of states, and i was having breakfast with a washington reporter who was looking to come to fox to work, and there's a television set in there, and the news came over the tv set, it was on fox, we got up and watched, and, of course, in the early going, it was thought possible this was an accident, and then, of course, when the second plane hit, we knew, and before that, they had called me from upstairs saying get up here, get in the chair for whatever washington -- that was before the pentagon was hit, and so we didn't know, you know, whether washington would be a major center of news in this or
not. >> frank, a group of opening questions for you. where were you and your reaction? >> with my wife and son. my son was to have minor surgery at the time. i was in a waiting room, and there was a television on. same thing, saw the picture, fairs plane -- first plane it, sunny skies, clear blue, an accident. the second plane then went in, and then i realized something terrible was happening, and i explained i was leaving, but the most horrible thing was as i drove in, i was coming in from the virginia suburbs, and i came up on to the 14th street bridge. i had been listening to the radio, been on the phone with the bureau, and was talking to the bureau of moving reporters to new york, and i said, no, no, not yet. we don't know where it's going. sit tight. i came up on the 14th bridge, and then i see black smoke coming out of the pentagon, and
i didn't actually know what to think except that this is huge, and recall to this day trying to call in to the bureau to explain what i saw. i thought about stopping my car on the bridge and getting out to report it and realized that would be a very stupid thing to do, but my hand was trembling as i tried to dial the number, and we just went from there. >> charlie, you were on air when the planes attacked the world trade center. how did that work? an anchor on air and you get the news. >> the first plane hit at 8:46, 8:46 and 54 seconds to be exact, and we were in a commercial break. we had run over in the previous segment. we had to get "good morning, america" off at 8:45. we had a few minutes for another
break, and we were discussing what to do. the stage manager yelled "one minute," and steve, the controlroom manager said something happened to the world trade center. there's fire from the side of the building, we have the abc traffic cam poised on the building. you're on the air, go. [laughter] and you, at that moment, have to acknowledge to yourself that you don't know what the hell's happening, and i knew from the size of it that this was not some small plane that had hit the world trade center as it occurred in the empire state building back in the 40's i guess, and we began to fill, and the pictures obviously went to the traffic cam. we knew right away we had to go to special report, so we broke for the rest of the nation to join us, and we said we don't know what's going on, and we were filling in and talking to
don, one the reporters, who lived in the shadow of the world trade centers, an parent. he called in and heard a high wind before the plane hit the building. he questioned whether or not it was a missile, but it looked too big for that. >> is he saying that on air? >> he said that on air. madly, we are writing notes, and the people running to try to get us information. the second plane hit at 9:02, and it is amazing how fast your brain works. i saw it come into frame. my first thought was this is a forest fire season in california, and i thought maybe it's a plane where the bucket hung underneath, but then i'm like, where did he get that in new york? [laughter] then i thought it was a traffic thing, and then it hit.
you couldn't see the building, but you saw the fire come out the other side, and i will forever think to myself of my reaction on the air, diane was the first to react, and she said oh, my god. i said, now we know what's going on. we're under attack. we were in the chair until peter got in place in new york, and diane ran -- >> peter jennings? >> peter jennings, and diane went to go as close to the buildings as she could. i was told to go up on 72nd street to hudson river, and we got to 50th street and we got stopped. i remember going back to the studio, and david westton, the president of the abc news said you have to fill on for peter because we'll be on the air for 7 hours straight. this is too big. i said, david, we'll be on the air for six to eight days, and
maybe weeks. >> dan, as i remember from an earlier interview, you were just getting out of your morning shower when you heard the bulletin on the radio, so what did you do? i mean, i assume, after you got dressed. [laughter] >> well, actually, that's true. i just stepped out of the shower, and the radio was on, and the radio people, the cbs news radio 88, they were handling what they had which was not much, obviously, very cautiously, and my recollection is that the first thing i heard was that an airplane possibly has hit one of the world trade centers, but when you are in the news, when something like this happens, alarm bells go off in your head. frequently, the bells are not necessary or not justified, but i thought immediately of the plane that hit the empire state
building in the 1940s. i was a child when that happened, but even in rural texas, that was huge news, so i went immediately -- i live on the upper east side of new york, not too far from the broadcast center on the west side, i have a small balcony that faces south and west, and i could see some smoke coming out of the world trade center, and so i told my wife, jean, whom i was married to for 55 years. she said, "i'll help you get dressed." she threw me my shirt, shoes, and i dressed in the elevator going down. fortunately, we're on the 26th floor. [laughter] i raced down to the building, raced to a cab, and what an incredible time. you know, ten years later, it's hard even now for me to get my head around it. by the time i got to the
broadcast center on 57th street between 10th and 11th avenues, and when i jumped out of the cab, i could see way down on 10th avenue what looked like people already in the streets. there's smoke from the towers, people in the streets. i almost took the hinges off the doors of the cbs broadcast center to get in. our morning news had been on the air with brian gumble, an experienced broadcaster, but now they don't broadcast from the broadcast center. they have one at 59th and 5th avenue. they were waiting to throw to me, if you will, for our regular coverage, but i remember, and i think it's about a 45 minute period, one plane hit the first tower, another plane hits the second tower, the pentagon was hit. how can that be? then another plane is rumored,
reported, may be headed -- definitely hijacked, maybe heading to the capitol. it goes down in pennsylvania. the first tower begins coming down, and the second tower begins coming down. all of that happening, correct me if i'm wrong here, but it's a short pert -- less than an hour, about 45 minutes, and as soon as i'm inside the broadcast center, they begin hooking me up to go to the anchor chair which is a raised area in the cbs newsroom, and i remembered three things. one, i said a short prayer. two, ed merel, a room here named for him and will be at dinner tonight, always repeated the words, "steady". he thought it was the most heard word in great britain when he was covered great britain when it was under attack by the german. i said to myself, steady. i dialed quickly home to jean
because i was worried, and she said it only took 12, maybe 15 seconds. she said, dan, i have everything here covered, the kids covered, it's all covered. do what you have to do and do it well. quick, into the anchor chair, but what an incredible time. there was within me a certain disbelief as we had the pictures of this happening, but it was this can't be happening. there's something wrong with this story as it's developing. maybe reporter's instinct to say what appears to be sometimes isn't, but unfortunately, it was to be the reality. >> well, what i'm listening you all speak about is an extraordinary kind of broadcasting where something huge has happened, you're in the middle of it, you're reporting, as you said earlier, charlie, you're not absolutely sure that
what you're saying is right, and yet yourself aware -- you're aware of the immensity of the story. what's going through your gut as a journalist at this point? >> well, you have to level with the audience we don't know any more than they do, and we're experiencing this together. that was in my head weeks afterward. i mentioned you before we went on -- we worked out division of labor, "good morning, america" handled from six in the morning to toon. we went on for six hours. peter did noon until 1 a.m., and then somebody coveredded at night, but i remember we worked all day on the 11th as to what we would do the next morning, and i took 20 minutes before the show and thinking to myself it doesn't really make any difference, these guests. everybody's got great stories and unbelievable experiences. what matter is the tone that we
adopt over the air. i never thought about that before in terms of coverage. you think about covering things, not tonally how will i respond? i remember thinking we need to be reassuring. we're going to get through 24 as a country and as individuals, and as horrible as what so many people experienced, there were 4,000 planes in the air that morning. they got four. we're a stronger nation than this, and we'll get through this, and you need to be reassuring. i went in and i said to dianne that this was my thought, and she agreed, and i said if one of us starts to cry, the other one has to pick it up because we can't do that. it's just not going to be right. we need to be strong. >> brit, your own view of that? >> i second that completely. i remember thinking at the time the minute the second plane hit, it was clear we were under attack, and then comes the
pentagon. i was thinking about how do we, you know, the stir was enormous, and the proper meaning of that word, how do we measure up in our coverage to that. i mean, you think about whether you've got the right picture on the air, whether you're showing the thing that's really happening, whether you're on the right piece of the story. you're also thinking at the time about -- i remember thinking to myself the country will not be the same again, maybe ever after this. this changes everything. this is the biggest thing ha i've ever been involved in as a journalist, and i'm thinking, but, you know, i felt as charlie did, this country will get through this. this country will not be brought down by this, and you also have the need -- there's so much information coming at you. you know, you don't know whether there's four planes or 44. you don't know any of that, but you do have the feeling you need to be calm and you do have the feeling you need to be
reassuring, and, you know, and it was -- you know, i tried in my tone of voice, and you said earlier, you know, you might see an anchor, but really what you saw i think on most news channels and all channels with news capacity that day, you've seen the pictures. the anchors were just disembodied voices on the air, but i was very conscious of trying to be calm and assuring and leveling with the audience about things we knew and things we didn't know, and on the hand, you want to pass things along, and i can't resist telling this one story to give you an idea of how pompous i can sometimes get. [laughter] i had the broadcast in one ear, and i had the telephone briefing line where reporters report what they got in the other ear, and brian wilson covering capitol hill saying the capitol police are evacuating the capitol because there was a plane coming
up the river at warp speed, and they were not sure what it was, but it could be headed for the capitol. i dually reported that with all the surrounding caveats that they don't know, so it's not definite, but this is what's going on. my wife, kim, the bureau chief at fox news comes in the studio and says, we're moving you. now, i sit in the studio at fox, which if you have not seen fox, you've seen the shot on c-span, the capitol is right behind us. i started this speech about embarrassing to tell this that this is the work i signed up to do and i should be here. she said, brit, if that plane hits the capitol, we need to have the shot. [laughter] >> not you. [laughter] >> mortified, i moved. [laughter] >> frank? >> this idea that already expressed by two of these
panelists that in that seat, in that kind of story, you're already thinking not just of the story, but of the context of the impact of the story on the united states of america that we're going to survive this. you're already thinking that kind of thought. >> your line as well? >> oh, yeah. i anchored for several years at cnn, and you go on air at the drop of a hat and don't come off for hours an end, and you have to deal while you're sitting there with information coming to you that you can't confirm, talk to anybody else, it's coming through a producer, comeing through a reporter. it's called the language of live that you have to speak, and there was no time that was more acute for people who spoke the language of live than this day because you have to acknowledge what you don't know which is most everything beyond what you can see. you have to have an inverse relationship with the emotion of the moment. i think the biggest challenge that we faced, at least in our
bureau, was the human emotion colliding with the journalistic duty. we had people crying because we had many people in our newsroom who were from new york or who knew people in the pentagon. when the pentagon was first hit, we did not hear from our correspondent for a long time for what seemed like a long time. we didn't know where that plane hit precisely at first. >> uh-huh. >> when that plane was unaccounted for because we were talking to the faa -- i mean, you do this, there's dispappers, people -- dispatchers and they track this stuff in realtime. we initially had seven airplanes, all grounded, seven planes that were unaccounted for. we moved a camera to the roof of the building trained on the capitol dome fearful we were about to see the capitol building hit. all of this stuff swirling around, and then you have to
talk as if you know something with no commercials, no break, and managing the information and the emotion and knowing that -- i don't know about you, but we were broadcasting globally, so we were speaking to the planet. it is a remarkable, very humbling, an scary thing. >> dan, i remember that not on cbs news, but a couple of days later on a david letterman program if i'm not mistaken, you were asked about what we're going through right now and discussing, and at that time on air, the tearing began to flow down. >> that's true. >> can you tell us about that? >> it was a week after. >> a week after? >> a week afterward. look, however it seems when you are anchoring, you are not a
robot. you know, the same kind of emotional sledge hammer to the heart that when the country realized we were under attack and what had happened, you know, it struck me, it struck every other person in our newsroom, and there's that battle particularly right in the beginning to service members -- supress your own emotions. this is the mark of the pro. everything in you wants to cry out in grief, moan, what's happening to your country, and be so angry that you curse the perpetrator, but you push that down deep inside you. you can't do that. got to get focused. everything is focus. you want to get zeroed in, what the tennis players call zoned on the story. this is a story i may be say to
myself shortly after i got to the broadcast center, maybe the biggest story i'll have ever in my lifetime. thoughts of the kennedy assassination and pearl harbor went through my head. the point is you suppress these feelings, and once you get zoned, i speak for myself, but i know this is widely shared by almost everybody that's anchored news, what's my role here? my role is to be an honest broker of information, and that means something that frank referred to being totally candid with the audience saying this is what we know and be absolutely certain you know it. this is what we know, but, folks, what we don't know is so much greater than what we know, and i want to remind you of that, but i was on the air almost constantly from -- and there's no excuses here because
none are necessary, that david letterman was coming back on the air on monday. somebody in staff called my staff said, you know david, he wants you on the air. i agreed to do it, never thought about it. the time came, i raced over, got in the chair just before the broadcast happened, and we were trying to discuss 9/11, and i was trying to repeat one of the several lines from the song of "america the beautiful," and everything i suppressed before, it surprised me, no cue for it, but it enveloped me. i do not apologize for it because one does not apologize for grief, but it was the reaction, once i'm at the broadcast center on another turf, somehow it all came out. >> it's the line of the al baser city, isn't it? >> exactly. >> i remember seeing that, and i appreciated that. i know there was my time
thinking back as a reporter was the kennedy assassination which you covered, and i was at the state department then, and listening to a radio broadcast by alan jackson who did newscasts at that time, and he spoke about president kennedy having been shot, but he didn't say killed, but in my gut i felt he was probably dead, and i knew that my bureau chief, bill small, would be calling us. i couldn't broadcast then, and i knew it, and so i walked around the state department twice. i walked around the building twice. by the time i got back, i knew that i could do just about anything, but i couldn't have done it at that moment, so my hat's off to you guys who were doing it absolutely live. charlie, what question then has to do with patriotism, individual american patriotism,
whether you're a reporter or not? the reporter is to be totally objective and detached about the story being covered, and yet you said before and all of you are say that really was impossible. >> sure. you react as an american whose country is under attack, but you have to, i think, as we've all eluded to in different forms, you have to stay as objective as you can be. david brinkley says there's no objectivity, just lesser degrees of the subjectivity, but you have to strive for that as much as you can, and what everybody's talking about here in terms of not really knowing fully what's going on, we all had our suspicions. i was thinking of the fact that my first reaction after oklahoma city was this was overseas terrorism. of course, it was domestic, but
you're quick to think this has got to be some sort of overseas agent directed at the united states, but you don't know, and you have to -- i remember, for instance, that morning again before going on the air on the 12th, i said let's get rid of the desk, but use a round table in the middle of the studio, and we'll stay there throughout the broadcast, and i thought that because we're basically in the same position every is at home, sitting around the breakfast table, and we're learning along with you what's going on. >> they are depending on you to tell them what's going on. >> i know, and there is a -- strangely enough, and i thought about this a lot sense, and maybe it's hubris on my part, but i suppose in some people there would be a tendency to think to yourself i'm not up to this, and yet i remember thinking essentially my entire
professional life has been a preparation for this moment, and i felt honored -- strange to say -- but i felted honored to be there, and i wanted to be there. i wanted to be there. >> brit, this balance of patriotism. >> look, this is an experience we shared as americans. i think the question about fairness and objectivity became a much sharper issue in the weeks and months that followed 9/11 than it was on that day. this was a -- this was a hideous thing. it was called the tragedy. i don't think it was the tragedy, but a monstrous agent of evil, and i thought it on that day, and i think most people think that to this day, and i still feel that way about it, and in the aftermath, it was discussion about why. "newsweek" had a cover about why do they hate us? remember that? that was way out of sync with
the event itself and how the people of this country reacted to it. i didn't think that was the storiment i think the story was who did it, where are they, and what did we as a nation going to do about it? i mean, some people said, well, you know, you're to be objective. i said, yes, perhaps, but we are to be fair. i remember saying at the time, fox news is not based in switzerland. [laughter] most of us were not neutral about this. we're not neutral as a country or people. we need to be fair, but there's a line to be drawn. ..
in the case we truly were reporting to the world. were we marcion's looking down on the earth and completely objective? or we americans grieving for a work country or were we trying to talk to the whole audience? lead to some very difficult questions about who we were in all of this. the report on marvin kalb panelists, dan rather, frank sesno discovering whom speak to
the day and the decade. >> i'm an american and in texas we have a saying you question my patriotism you don't do it sitting down and that's the way i feel. [laughter] i don't have any a dilemma within myself about who i am, what my country is, and i don't need to wear a flag on my repel. you are with your record says it is, and i've been around long enough i think people know what my record is. my record is what it says it is. i was an american reporting to an american audience and there was a wide audience with a broadcast but that day i don't
remember myself but over the years and experience that the patriotic journalists tries to be the broker of information. this was my role, this was my duty. compared to the first responders, firemen, police in that day, minuscule but my role was to be as candid as possible about what we know, what we didn't know, but what my country is i have no doubt we would overcome this. >> and we didn't need to do that as people on the air. people were doing that around the country and pictures told story of the patriotism. remember the construction workers at the pentagon and that repaired the building, the flag sales were everywhere. flags immediately appeared, cars around the country.
there was a converse singing america the beautiful on the steps of the capitol. estimate of nationalism and patriotism they spoke for where the country was. >> we just need to show the pictures of them happening. >> if we were to describe where you were at that time in your feelings both of professional and the personal side, brit, let's say for a moment, god forbid 9/11 were to happen again. next weekend we were to be hit again. how would the journalism, the coverage of the second 9/11 be different from the coverage of the first 9/11, and i asked you to take into account not only the immensity of the story, but the technological changes that have taken place in the last ten years.
>> the first thing that would happen is we would have the technology and the participation of the audience in a much more profound way than we had at the time. i would hate to think because we have heard some of the cell phones, the desperate seóul phone calls, but we are now connected with text, the tweets, the facebook pages. so first of all we would have to contend with that. we would have to have the public as the correspondence. >> to use adjusted is in opposition to what it is you were doing? >> it's a challenge. >> what's real, what's not, what's an invasion of privacy, what's public, how quickly do you share it, what tone do you use from that? imagine what people are experiencing and what they don't
know and what they are potentially communicating. so we would have to contend with that first and foremost of god forbid there were something else today we would also have to contend with the story which is being hit again. >> the country is much better prepared. >> we do not the results of this criticism. we have the invulnerability, there was an insularity about the country and we have become complacent in many ways. if it happened tamar to get hit the country as much better prepared now. we are tougher to the estimate is journalism tougher? >> is it better equipped to handle that story? >> no because the resources are way down. there are fewer professional experienced journalists working
today. >> may i disagree briefly? >> i think there are fewer but because of this, those who remain are tougher and better prepared. >> exactly, but the core what they call the iron core is smaller, but technologically there was no twitter or facebook while people did have siltstones every cell phone now mali has a camera, it has a camera and video. imagine any side of the towers if it happened today you would have pictures of what was happening on their floor so technologically definitely better equipped to be this and let me give you an example and it's one of the reasons i was happy to retire because what happens now scares me. >> what happens now scares me in terms of the way the we've
report things. when the muslim shot fort hood if you remember and i think he was in a medical area when they started shooting and i ran upstairs and i was in the con as they say i was anchoring and i went on the air and i had the military's first reaction going on there were the two shooters. nobody was dead. but somebody theatre de said to me first reactions are almost always wrong. that thin young kids on our staff began running up to me and handing me twitter messages from the inside the room at fort hood, and i had no clue whether those were correct or not. they were diametrically different than we were getting from the military. you go on the air and say this is what we are hearing from the military and getting from twitter and what we got turned out to be much more accurate. but i am on the air talking to
the country and i don't know i don't have a clue whether what i am saying came from howard stern or whether it came from in that room and that's frightening to me and yet what has come from 24-hour cable we don't have time to absorb this anymore. it's getting more and more immediate and we know less and less. >> that day was the day they might as well all have been cable channels that first day. >> you're on the air and, you know, you don't have commercial breaks to collect your thoughts and so on but i certainly share your sensibility about there's no worse feeling as an anchor than to be about to report something truly major when you have doubt about it, and if you do it is the most uncomfortable agonizing feeling you can have. i particularly remember being
the first to report that bush had won ohio in 2004 we will all alone on that and all i can remember was i hope we are right. i said on the air the decision to call it and i went to michael barone and i will never forget this he delivered his own on the state of ohio and the demographic changes. i love michael barone, thank you. that kind of assurance and a very controversial correct -- >> let me assure the first and the polling information that is commissioned by the political george washington university battleground poll question asked in a time of crisis such as we are talking about now where is the first place that you turn for information? answer, according to this poll, television still 48%. number one by far. number two, the computer on your
desk, 23%. radio, 11%. iphone, blackberry, that type of communication, 9%. information from family or friends, 5%. newspapers, 1%. >> that high? [laughter] it's not immediate. >> there is immediacy when "washington post".com. that goes into the internet coming into the computers so you pick it up in that way. but what this suggests is people will still depend almost one out of to on television. that's true. i'm not surprised at that but let's keep in mind that increasingly television is on the computer and as we move
forward many if not most freshman colleagues don't use a television set anymore they bring their television. >> they don't bring their computer. >> hendee will merge because increasingly people will get their television on their computer. the big change in that number i suspect if we took it today would be the movement of the mobile application of the iphone and the ipad, the smart tablets and the students that we've got in my class and elsewhere and myself to some extent my first stop is my device and it's not in many cases cbs news or cnn. it's twitter and facebook. there were tens of thousands of people who learned about the earthquake in washington through
twitter all over the world. >> but my question -- >> once they learn they go to a video source and i would bet you the number of computers are going to video sources as opposed to "the new york times".com. when you want immediacy -- >> you on the video and that is one out of two. but the question that interests me is with all the rise of the new technology what affect is that having on our journalism? is it making it better? >> in some respects it's making it better because it gives us access to a larger set of rall materials to practice with. >> what is the raw material? >> the gadget that frank uses first thing in the morning. >> i know that tight. [laughter] >> he water out and are looking at that, but what is that based on? >> it's video it is what it is.
>> welcome a look, we have every reason to remain as vigilant and skeptical as we have always been or should be about the sources of our information, and he's right it turned out the people feeding information to his teammates at abc were right and the officials had it all wrong. but you've got to be very careful about that and report with the officials say and that's always part of the story. you know, it's true we are going to be receiving a wealth of information that we don't know whether to trust or not and we have to get good at that, and we also have to be good at presenting it in a way that we can tell the audience what we can and convey our skepticism about it. that's been the job of the anchor for as long as there has been such a thing. >> do you believe -- you've been around awhile now, do you believe that the journalism that you are in today to the american people is better journalism, is
a more reliable form of journalism, more enriching form of journalism than you were doing it ten or 20 or 30 years ago? >> it's hard to generalize. part of me wants to say no, i don't think that's true because we are in a red none now in terms of journalism. the old model is gone. the new one is not yet in place. we don't know how things are going to shape itself out. the catholic church calls the order is not yet in place. so very hard. i do think that we have to be -- which have to teach to be very skeptical, not cynical but skeptical about things because the potential is there to manipulate the media to the degree we haven't had before because of someone wants to flood atwitter with misinformation one reason or another when it comes down to having in terms of anchoring and experienced persons who walked
the ground who knows what happens in the police station who knows what the emergency room looks like in the hours of them might have an experienced person who is built by his or her record a reputation for being that honest broker of information, and i do think the people will find it a direct answer is the journalism better there is more of it and the definition of journalism is expanded with blotters and there is more of it, but you have to be more selective now because the audience there was a time cbs, nbc or considered in national part of what happened with 2001. now it still exists but much smaller so i think the answer to the question is it is hard to tell. i have these kind of answers with journalism today but i'm optimistic about the future. i'm an optimist by experience and by nature and we will get through this coming into the
internet is obviously going to be a huge part of the future in terms of information, and by more than 60 years as a reporter has taught me to trust the audience and the audience will find people they believe they can trust and they will -- >> the central point of all of this is we have one thing to sell and that this trust. what scares me is with all this information coming in you have to process those fast is very hard to trust and you can lose it very fast and therefore you have to -- i don't know how you teach people to be discriminated against to be able to sit through all of that. >> so if you get sick the first thing you may do today is go on line and try to learn everything you can bet your ultimately going to go back to your doctor someone that you know and trust to sift through all of that. if we think about the amount of information that hit us on 9/11,
we went from planes to the people who were in them to al qaeda. the amount of learning and information. so twitter and all that kind of business and not drawing a distinction between the journalist and the reporter, but the twitter stream is great and the video on people's phones is great at reporting. here's the picture, and here's what i can bring you. the journalism of the explanation, the exploration and investigation takes discipline and time. >> with a story like this we are talking in this forum about this minute to minute reaction and there's one thing but really helps and that is experience of the kind that dan was talking about where you've been on the street and know how things work and if you have a long tour of
duty as a street reporter and you are in an anchor chair and someone explain something happening out there those won't ring true because you know how it works and you may not be able to explain it, but you're in tama will go out and you will shy away from going with it and there's no substitute for that and there's no way you can teach it in the school, you can't get it in an anchor chair very well. there's no substitute for the experience, and in my view of the good anchors have had it over the years. >> i would wonder -- i was on the air and i reported, was one of the first to report the law enforcement was looking for two people of apparent arab descent. we were widely criticized for that. i reported that because we were told by the exceptionally senior officials they were following the lead. on a reported what i was told in
an accurate way so we have always had to sift through and risk being wrong with our sources. i fink and i hope if we handle deride and professionally the social media that are now one of our sources will be handled in the same way. >> one thing we see in this particular case and danny loaded to the that the beginning there were so many things our experience couldn't prepare us for. nobody that i know of had imagined you could use their plan as a weapon against the building. i couldn't believe the people would jump from 100 stories and when i first heard that i thought i can't believe that. when i was in the car and they said in my ear the second trade tower has gone down, that was beyond my credulity. i couldn't believe it. and the next morning when we get people lot of hospitals and they
kept saying there are none, when we cover tragedy's there's dead and injured and there were no injured it was by american and you live or you didn't live and all of those things we had to get used to it and realize this one is different. >> let me ask all of you a question here because we are approaching the time we have about three or four minutes left. we've been talking about how journalism may have changed, and i think in listening to all of you say that this technology changes but the responsibilities remain essentially the same. has america changed in the last ten years? are we have a different place now to suggest a little earlier in our discussion that we have changed? there were more sophisticated countries that were more aware of things. can you share that?
>> yes. we lost our innocence and that. we lost our innocence in 9/11. cheney gave a speech shortly after that in which he said that -- and i thought it was very profound -- he said this is a war for the first time we americans lose more people on domestic soyoil van overseas to read we've always been protected by the oceans and of course it's not turned out to be true because we've lost more people in iraq and afghanistan and ignoring the civil war, but -- i thought i was very profound and basically what is said to me and it's something i kept in mind in the weeks and months afterwards whenever you go through the lincoln tunnel or get on an airplane and put your kid on a school bus when you kiss your kid good night it's a little act of courage now and that is something i don't think we thought prior to that.
>> what is striking me about this is we have been able to go and this is something i don't think any of us would have imagined on that day after the ten years ago and we would come to this date in years later without being hit by another attack on the homeland that it hasn't happened. i don't think it was an accident. we are as dan said just better prepared, better equipped, better fortified and all of that and i think that we've also killed a lot of enemy and that is a major contributing factor in this. what is remarkable was despite the inconvenience is that we all notice in our lives particularly in air travel where it is so inconvenient -- >> we haven't had a great retrenchment in civil liberties. we of complaints about it but most people live their lives as they always have. we've gotten much closer back to
normal as quickly as we did. >> ban hock, for 30 seconds. >> it has changed tremendously. among the ways that we've changed is we've always been a resilient people but we are more resilient now in terms of dealing with this kind of catastrophe or otherwise we are more confident and i also think that we are more courageous because of 9/11. >> i would agree with all of that. i think we live in an era of vulnerability, and we understand that in new and scary ways. i got a text of the other day from my son after hearing the terror under he lives in new york he says do you think i should do something differently? and i said no. be vigilant but do what you need to do. and i think that is what the country has done. it's been vigilant, a lot of money trying to make sure that doesn't happen again but we do
what we need to do. >> and otas by the clock with just about run out of time. >> went thank this wonderful audience for joining us here at the national press club, are not the world by the website and thank the terrific panel of anchors who are so helpful to us in a difficult time of my knowledge and and let me think all of you out there that still believe in a independent media as the best guarantor of the free and open society, but that's it for now. i am marvin kalb and as i used to say years ago, good night and good luck. [applause]
[applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, this is the second half of the program, and the second half of the program involves questions from you, and there are microphones on both sides. there's one there and won their. what i would appreciate you doing, those the would like to ask a question, go over to the microphones, when you ask your question please make it a question. if it is a speech i am going to cut you off and i don't want to be in a polite. so why don't we start over here. naim, tell me where you were and ask your question. >> i'm a producer in the city and i have a question about correspondence to the extent that anchors pretty much symbolized by the whole it also defined by the some of its parts, so brian wilson, brit
hume, it bradley, and john miller, how could you -- >> could you give an assessment of the value and the correspondence that you had that morning and in the mornings after 9/11 in your broadcast? >> why don't you start? >> people personalize newscasts even before the age of the shows which are all about one person but even in the days when it was brinkley or cbs news walter cronkite on the cronkite evening news people tend to think of a newscast in terms of the person in the anchor, but i've always thought that whoever is in the anchor chair benefited from the feinberg being doubly everyone including the correspondence and i remember walter cronkite and
what a great anchor he was but what i would say is backed up by marvin kalb and dan and roger mudd and the correspondent until that moment in the business had no equal and that is what made the cronkite evening news what it was and made walter cronkite what he was in many respects he was good at his work so what i would say about the correspondence is the work in any news organization if you are an anchor and have a lick of sense you are appreciated if of the work and what was then a news organization on 9/11. >> i have a feeling that you agree with that? >> absolutely. cbs news, and keep in mind that it is the founding st of the electronic journalism as we now know on the radio and television he tried to hide your and with
incredible success did higher the scholar correspondence he wanted to hire the smartest people he could draw into the radio. those who wrote the best and i think that tradition when we or another has carried on for some tremendous growth of electronic journalism that the cbs evening news whether as it first started in walter cronkite was built on the foundation of the correspondence and the quality of the correspondence takes nothing away from walter cronkite in the chair and he's right on the money with this that the reputation of cbs news had and may still have was built on having it not be the best correspondents in everyplace overwhelmingly had scholar correspondents who were known for their experience and being the best at what they did.
>> questioned? >> thank you. i'm a former broadcast journalist and colleague of yours. my question has to do with how do you handle the influx of new information when it comes to admitting that there has been an error? i was in austria conducting media training for the state department on september 11th. we got the report and there were people from around the world that were in the trade tower a lot of people forget that there were people from around the world we got the report on cnn that the car bomb that exploded at the state department the was never corrected. journalist friends of mine said we were too busy reporting what was happening to report what didn't. the problem is how do you -- i guess with more information coming and how do you get back to letting people know that there has been an error? >> i'm sure that was correct. it may not have been correct -- >> last tuesday. [laughter] twice. >> i remember that there were a lot of bad reports coming and we
had a flat out policy that if we put bad information on the air, which was not something we wanted to do, we had an obligation to correct it. in fact we had conversations all related to that moment but others should we go back to the precise minute, 24 hours later so that we made sure -- the audience churns so you can't be sure everyone that saw a bum information is going to know that you've collected it. that information should be corrected. i think that all networks should have on gutzman or the equivalent of public eda terse, and that's very controversial. a lot of people disagree with me but i think that we'll as much transparency to the public as weak demand of other institutions and by afraid we are still not doing that. that 1i know is correct. >> question, please. >> i am a gw alumni but not a journalist. i love the show and i just want to test all of you what has been your favorite positive story
that you've covered in your career? >> positive story, charlie gibson, come on. [laughter] >> there are many bruised -- they reflected the strength and resiliency and the wonder of the human spirit, and i think there are so many stories and collectively i just loved that we tried something every day there would be, but in some respects in this story, as horrible as it was, their resiliency as is inspiring to me as everything covered. estimate it moved me more than any story that i've covered up to that time is the 50th anniversary of d-day.
with the u.s. military have accomplished on that day under the fire and at the time the history of the world was at a critical juncture was a remarkable story, and to go back and understand that military overlooking that attacked and to see those rows of american gravestones and recognize the american military in the 20th century let the war to get all over the world and in no case did they go there for the purpose of the conquest every case for the purpose of the liberation and the liberation in europe by the allied forces was an enormous try and for the world and for mankind really, humankind. that critical moment on that beach was the allied commander almost called them back and yet it's a great story and an
inspiration and i urge anybody that has a chance to go there it will bring tears to your eyes. it was the most moving story. >> next question comes before. >> a recently qualified journalist from the u.k.. my question is this, you touched on social media. the problem is in the u.k. especially their war for me to get my head toward for years or maybe longer than that to get a job at all, so many like myself to the social media the social media where do you draw the line between what makes a journalist and what doesn't? where would you see the line drawn on the socialism and the media? >> right around you. [laughter] >> you will draw that line. you will decide how you want to define yourself it's interesting
about the social media and the kind of things that can happen now is to become your own brand so you will create your name. it depends on the kind of persona and the kind of fact so if you want to be all about the opinions and rant and rave, are you a journalist, there certainly will be an opinion player but if you can actually go out and find information and be reliable, incredible and others will then pick you up and pass you around, you will become your own a brand until unless you join forces with an existing news organization. >> on an endless number of brands that can still legitimately be defined as journalists? >> there are not and you are going to have another problem, how are you going to pay the rent? we've tina brown who's part of a problem a couple of years ago at gw and we talked about the need to have jobs for people like you to, you can lead to this as a
job as a hobby for weigel. we might be in a time that works for a while but not very long and that is the thing we need to worry about. >> would you give me an indulgence, my conscience bothers me when we are talking about the strength of correspondence a moment ago i should have pointed out there or at least two of the best correspondents of their generation, bernard kalb in the audience -- [applause] >> next question comes before. >> i am a student edge dw. my question concerns the media that has emerged as a result of the attacks and there's been very a stick and interest on the movies and books about the attacks so i was wondering if there's forms of media that have
emerged after the fact have they captured the event of the day as they have in life? do you think as journalists the after the fact reporting and analysis have they really captured the heat of the moment per say? >> you want to draw that? >> i don't really know the answer to it. i'm sorry. i can't help you. >> i think the single most valuable thing to do on the 9/11 report which is probably as exhaustive as a heck of a piece of reading. it's a fascinating documentary. but as i read it one of the things that impressed me is that there's not a whole lot that was in the document that hadn't been under arrest and had been reported by the documentarian's cents and you can quibble with documentaries at times that made it a point of view to try to make a point that may not be totally objective or they've reflected the point of view but
a lot was reported in the subsequence of 9/11 the did a good job and that is borne out by the fact of the commission report there wasn't a whole lot in their even with the subpoena powers that it in previously reported. >> the commission dealt with 9/11 reflects the concern of the writers of the report but not the sending certain people in other words they made a point to say they were not going to deal with individual blame. they didn't deal with individual blame because of what have created a huge political storm so that the report itself is an adequate in that it didn't go far enough but let's get another question. as amihai has been going to a
lot of 9/11 events. one of them as with most of the intelligence chiefs two days ago at which the program they said as president obama has been supportive of anything the intelligence wants to do but since 9/11, americans stovepipe their information. when something happens when presidents barack hussein obama is president, the first thing your bridges here on social media and other things is that obama didn't do the right job, and there are certain broadcasters, i'm not going to name any that would attack him for not doing the right thing as president even though his own intelligence chief said he is doing a great job. >> i'm not sure that i hear you -- what's your question?
>> we are stovepiping the information now so after 9/11 would be the same now. >> um lost on that i'm afraid. i'm sorry. would you like to comment? >> i don't really a understand the question. >> americans are stovepiping their own information. >> what is stovepiping? i have no idea. >> you listen to fox news or cnn but you don't listen to all of it to get the full information. >> maybe there is a study actually that's what you are trying to reflect there was a study that suggests that people that watch msnbc and watch fox and cnn and up with certain different appreciations of fact that you see certain things in a different way and maybe that is why you are getting at.
>> someone that has been in fox all these years, fox news has two parts, it has a set of programs which are very popular and successful, which are about the views and interviews of individuals many of them are conservative, some of them are not. fox news also has a set of news programs and news segments all across the broadcast business we call dead parts. their separate and distinct and people that watch fox news can tell the difference. there's a great many people that don't watch fox news or they watch something else and have other ideas about what we do. if you watch the hard news programs on fox and the reporting that's an abundance you will find that pretty straightforward reflection of the news and you will also find an emphasis at times on stories
that other media are ignoring and a different way of approaching a wholly legitimate way of approaching story is the media are doing. i don't think we are in a crisis because certain people tune in to these opinion shows and listen to the opinions and they read the editorial page columnist for the same reason the nation has survived that for hundreds of years now and i respect your concern about it just isn't one of my and. >> another question which may be the last because we are running out of time. >> my name is scott. i'm not a journalist and a student at gw a question as like reporters your accounting to history. i was really yondah during 9/11 but i remember one thing and you talked about the resilience of the american people of course my favorite commercial effort is the one where you have all people all races, genders, religions that set off the american or about two weeks after, but nowadays it seems like everything is so
politicized, the people are so divisive. what do you think was there a point in american history since then where we sort of fell off the bandwagon unity or was it gradual like where we go from being so united after that to how we are now? >> that's a very interesting question and a lot of people tend to feel the u.s. the last ten to 15 years has in effect on on a downward spiral. there's an argument about that but it is a question that i have heard many times. >> i want to tell you the story may be the most poignant moment of my experience around this i flew the first day of flights had resumed and i took a united flight from washington to boston. boston was one of the places of
the flights. i came on a plane and there was a ghastly silence and two of the flight attendants were quietly weeping. they had to turn away from us as we got on the plane and there were not very many people there. the captain got on just before we took off and said ladies and gentlemen may i have your attention, please? we are flying again and we are doing it because we believe you will be safe but i ask you to look around at one another. if someone tries to hijack the plane tackle them, stop them, for something on them. remember, we are all in this together and we are all americans. it was an unbelievable -- i took out my notebook and i was writing all of this down. [laughter] but it was an incredible thing. you can't maintain that intensity of emotion out of an experience like that. but i do believe ten years
later, whether you remember it brilliantly or not, the world that you are growing up in has been effected and shaped by that vulnerability by that moment and conversations like this we are a more resilient place we are a more conscious place. we feel the world in different ways. but we are america we go on the stream and debate and i disagree about what he said about fox that is what we are supposed to do and that means we are okay. i don't like what is happening here in washington more than anybody else but this is what we do, and democracy is a noisy and messy business and we should be proud of that, too. >> it's an interesting thing. we've been talking both in this 20 minute segment and in the broadcast part of the way in which the country bounces back and how resilient it is and therefore there is an impression
of how strong we are what we are in some other ways quite formidable these days and quite weekend by an economic condition that nobody seems able to master and a political climate that is rougher than we have experienced a long, long time and so while we live with a jolly is up beat cents so things can only get better the fact is they may not be getting better and that could be by the way the subject for another panel discussion. but at this particular point -- [laughter] >> cindy very, very much. [applause]
[inaudible conversations] that's been our coverage from here at the national press club in washington, d.c., and tomorrow more analysis of 9/11 marking the tenth anniversary of the attacks with live coverage from schenck still pennsylvania and a dedication ceremony for the first phase of the flight 93 memorial with vice president joe biden and former president george w. bush and bill clinton. our live coverage begins at 2:40 eastern right here on c-span2. coming up next a canadian perspective on the 9/11 attacks from canada public affairs channel. 9/11, ten years later to documentary taking an in-depth look at the global changes following september 11th and the hospitality of a small community in canada that was the host to the american passengers whose flights were grounded after the terrorist attacks.
over the next hour we will look at what happened that day and how those events of the decade ago have changed our society and whether we like it or not. >> this is 9/11, ten years later ♪ the sun was shining and the skies were clear over new york city but the same skies would soon be filled with horror. drawn to manhattan island and the twin towers of the world trade center. this is a story of unimaginable
tragedy's and devastating losses. >> i knew in my heart that she was dead. such a story of how the worst of human behavior brought the best in the people of a tiny community on the edge of america. estimate your heart went out to them, each and every one of them. >> it is also a story of the coming together of the two nations in a time of need. >> was very clear to me that there was no doubt. how the unforgettable days lead to a decade of change for canada and the world. maureen is marking the tenth anniversary of 9/11 just as she has all the others with painful memories. >> owls i was watching the planes go in to the towers on tv
on cnn and because like many flight attendant for 30 years i new planes didn't just go into towers and of course. some mexican free love and her husband, ken was in new york city for a business meeting. >> he called our son on the night before 9/11 to say that he was on top of the world and he had a great new job and wonderful family and where he could share time with all of us he had a spoke about being at this particular conference that was scheduled for the morning of september 11th and that he would be revisiting the world on the 106th floor.
>> the conference was in the north tower of the world trade center, the first of the towers to be struck by the hijacked airliner. at first it was thought to be a tragic accident but when 20 minutes later the united airlines flight 175 plowed into the side of the south tower, there could be no doubt america was under attack. today we've had a national tragedy. two airplanes have crashed into the world trade center in an apparent terrorist attack on the country news attacks foster of the world. maureen was on duty as a flight attendant in germany on 9/11 when she got news of the tragedy unfolding in new york. >> when i realized something horrible was happening i decided to call my mother, and i said
she said yes. he called his mother to say that he was on the 106th floor the room was filled with smoke, the roof was blocked and she didn't know how he was going to get out. the line went dead shortly afterwards. >> ken was one of 24 canadians who were killed in the attacks on that day. each with a family, each with a life to live each loved and missed. >> he had his priorities straight. family. priority for ken. >> at mine:59 a.m. the south tower of the world trade center
collapsed into a cloud of ashes and debris to the horrified astonishment of people on the streets. [inaudible conversations] >> it is so huge that most people simply can't understand what happened. people are standing around talking to each other nodding their heads. oh my god. we've got to go. we've got to go. >> a half an hour later the north tower also came crashing down taking along with its ken and 12 other canadians presumed to be trapped. >> i knew in my heart that ken was dead, but i also knew how physically fit he was and if anybody could have gotten down
106 floors and surely it would have been ken. >> ken's body was never recovered only a few pieces of bones. ten years later she keeps the mementos of her time with ken in what she calls her memory room. she holds in her hand a piece of the world trade center, a remnant offered by workers cleaning up the ground zero site. >> he said i've been waiting for the right person to give this to and i want to give it to you. and i cannot tell you how much that touched me. it's in the shape of a cross which is very significant, and it's very, very meaningful to my family and that they gave this
to us. the 9/11 attacks transformed the skyline of new york leaving a gaping hole in the heart of the city. ten years later the days of that are still fresh especially for those who live their like canada's for more consular general of new york senator pamela. >> when i first got in the morning and turn on the television it was the day before i was scheduled to have cancer surgery and my family was visiting. me and my mom and dad were there and we turned on and watched, and i guess for in silence a couple of minutes and my father was as a world war ii veteran probably as insightful as most and said not since pearl harbor have we seen anything like this, and this will be bigger because it is on the mainland. >> pearl harbor wasn't even part of the united states as a state.
you know, hawaii was a territory than. but here you have one of the world's great financial centers at the heart of the american society. in effect being bombed. >> this was an act of war. and so i think that's how i've always seen it. semidey it was the minister of transport when the 9/11 attacks took place. >> the day itself was very traumatic for the officials in my department and me and my personal staff, and looking back i would say it was the most dramatic and a significant event that i went through in government. >> ten years later that even stand his role in them are still fresh in his mind. >> i flew in early that morning to montreal to give the opening address to the airports, council international and towards the end of the speech one of the officials put a note in front of
me and said wind up your speech there's been a tragedy. speak to us, don't speak to the media. we want to brief you. >> as soon as david was briefed on the tax he and his staff immediately left montreal and raced back by car. >> all the key decisions were made on the phone, on a cell phone on of 417. ..
we're about to have the busiest days of their careers. >> when i arrived at work, the westbound flow coming from your was just starting to hit greater coverage in eastern canada and the airspace in the united states had been closed for the aircraft were advised they would have to them as soon as possible. a lot of good craft were diverting towards candor. >> notes canada's controllers are responsible for directing all air traffic in the western half of the atlantic airspace. the busiest air corridor in the world. on 9/11, like any other day, there hundreds of planes approaching newfoundland annoys to canadian and u.s. direction annoys to canadian and u.s. direction eurocrats decided to go back to europe. those that were beyond the point
of return decided they were going to land in canada. >> this radar image recorded on 9/11 because the tracks on north america, the traces were in yellow land a gander international airport. >> as most people are aware, candor is a fairly big airport for the sides of town affairs. we have the facilities and the main difference between a normal day and 9/11 messages have more aircraft and were setup to handle one or two large aircraft anytime. so 38 at a time as taxing on our abilities little bit, but we got through it. >> 243 flights were diverted to canada that day, carrying more than 33,000 passengers. >> no one could foresee with united dates government would do. it closed its airspace and said nothing could go over the united states. i understand why the americans
did that, but what about us? we are the neighbor. >> we found ourselves in a circumstance of having to scramble. we had to really scramble to cut a deal with the closure and the fact that so many planes were rerouted to canadian male fields to man, particularly in the airfields. >> by by the time clouts jammed onto the four runways surrounded the airport. more than 6600 stranded passengers stated that their planes to await processing by canada customs and rcmp's officers. >> we had to be sure before we let anyone off the plane, that there weren't terrorists on board. the maoists us because we didn't have security officials, customs officials, we didn't have enough people, so we had to fly people into those places to supplement the regular personnel. >> at the time i don't think we
really had any concerns of who or what might be on the aircraft. we had a lot of police presence here and a lot of security presence from a lot of different agencies here that protect other day. >> we tried not to look outside but are jobless. our main focus that morning was to get these airplanes safely on the ground and to let the air crews and airplanes you with any situation they had on board. >> the terror attacks that day from the canadian capital lapsing of almost every cabinet minister. prime minister a shocking thing within a meeting at his official residence, 24 suffix with an premier saskatchewan born caliber. someone broke into the median and was told of the attacks. >> we were informed there was something tragic and we just didn't know what applies, so as soon as he left iu and the tv and receive phone calls from the
captain and so on and i have been in touch with minutes to us and with the head of the rcmp and the armed forces all morning. >> the 9/11 crisis would for a strong taking to make the most difficult decisions of his political career. one involved a korean jumbo jets flying over north and canada and heading for the u.s. in the hours just after the attacks on new york and washington. he decoded signal suggested the plane may have been hijacked. >> the americans wanted to shoot them down. at that time, the flight was approaching canadian airspace and it's highly unusual to allow the u.s. to carry out that kind of -- of an attack come if you will over canadian airspace. it can be done, but you've got to have agreements.
>> john gave the go-ahead to shoot down the airliner and its 207 passengers and crew if it did not land is ordered by norad command. >> we went afraid that we might go to be in court. no communications so they got the threat that if the plane was to go into a come in the canadian city was not to go to vancouver. if you have to choose between a certain number of lives, thousands of canadians who are piece on the cd, you have no choice. >> as it turned out, there is a not function a nonfunctioning macabre bit and thankfully that pilot had the sense to land, otherwise over 200 people would have been killed. >> in the hours that followed the attacks, ottawa was a city on edge. row surrounding the u.s. embassy work portion of a roadblock set up. parliament hill was under rcmp
lockdown. the city's office towers were evacuated. employees here at c. paddock were among the thousands order onto the streets for fear that sent a note and pending attacks. by late morning, personnel was admitted to return to the building to recent coverage of hands holding events in the unit stays in concert with american colleagues that he spent. >> and peter pan dusan cpac we'll continue coverage of the terrorist attacks in new york and washington, but we want to also give you a sense of how canadian officials have reacted to today's event. a few moments, we will hear from rcmp commissioner zach cardelli. canadians who have kept their
calm in the past four hours and we hold that the situation will calm chew a little bit more normality quickly. >> in the hours after the attacks, chretien was on the phone of key cabinet ministers, formulating canada's response to the 9/11 attacks. canada's foreign affairs minister at the time was john manley. on september 11th, he was on board to canada 747 returning from the g8 summit meeting in frankfurt, germany. >> we were out over the atlantic. the flight attendants on the upper deck came and asked to speak to me and they ultimately took me into the cabin on the flight back. and i sat with the pilots and we were able to hear bbc radio reporting on what was going on in the united states. i spent much of the flight up there.
>> while other aircraft bound for canada were being taped, minister manley slate was giving special permission to continue to start to destination. >> somebody took me to a room, where i was to be connected to the prime minister and there was a television or peer for the first time i saw the images. by then, the towers had collapsed and there was no way to visualize data from the audio reports that i had heard. >> i was in calgary. i was actually on my way to the airport. >> another official found himself far from ottawa with the u.s. ambassador to canada at that time, paul cellucci. sent the u.s. forces jet to send my wife from calgary back to ottawa. msa was one of the area
flights -- in fact he was one of the eeriest flights because we were the only plane moving and the only plane to take off, probably one of the few airplanes other than other military aircraft flying in north america at that time. >> how would you characterize the canadian response to the events that unfolded that day? >> the canadian response was overwhelming. we had 25,000 americans in addition to several thousand had arrived unexpectedly because the u.s. airspace was closed. you know, like i've been gander. >> by the afternoon of 2011, curious onlookers lined the roads by the airport in gander to be the dozens of planes parked on its runways. >> well, the first day was a lot
of uncertainty because we weren't sure how long the aircraft is going to be here. so when they landed while we weren't sure if they would be here for five hours, three hours or six hours or six days. we didn't know because the americans had the airspace shutdown and it was just waiting to see if they were going to open in that. it was probably 12 or 14 hours after the first plane landed before they decided to airspace is going to be shut down for a while and that's when they started getting people out of the planes. >> as the gander airport terminal gradually filled with more and more exhausted passengers, the need to find them food and shelter was growing. beulah cooper is a longtime volunteer with the royal canadian legion. >> i was more than surprised. i never realized there were so many planes. i think there's something they 37, 39 planes.
i thought gosh, where they going to put them all? that's almost double the population of gander. >> i thousands of travelers begin to flood into gender and surrounding towns and villages, the enormous scale of the humanitarian crisis began to hit home. >> we started seeing the churches, organizations like the lions club, the legion, the masonic temple, any place we could find, you know, the trade school, community colleges are not. >> one of the places the passengers were taken with the kander campus where mac maas was the schools administrator. >> this is the room where we assembled all of our passengers when they got off the aircraft they didn't see a lot of the airport of what was going on. and when they came here, saw the television for the first time.
cnn kept replaying out all day long and not the television. 300 people came in here and the place was deathly quiet. because they were watching what was going on. this was the first time the new why they were detained at the airport and why they couldn't go to the united states. so the emotion was tremendous. >> every hallway, every classroom is soon be transformed into makeshift dormitories for nearly 400 wearied and frighten travelers. >> staff members had asked their families if they had like it's come sleeping bags, cots, air mattresses, whatever and to get onto the campus. >> thousands of stranded travelers were desperate to make telephone calls to reassure those back home that they were
safe. the special phone services were set up outside community centers to help meet the demand. >> we took it upon ourselves to set up these telephones so people could make international calls to everywhere. we've had people here to all continents in the world. >> so many weary travelers needed to call home. >> at yourself in their shoes. they didn't know what was going on back home and they didn't know if any of their families were involved. some when they first came. and you know, put yourself in their shoes and think how would you feel? in your heart went out to them, each and every one of them. >> beulah cooper was that the canadian legion home with the phones are in constant demand. so she decided to take matters into wrong hands. >> i took three ladies to make phone calls and the three ladies
i took were the three that stayed here. >> it wasn't long before it you had befriended the three women. they accepted the invitation to come stay at her home as long as they needed to. >> this is a lady that stayed with me from brooklyn, new york. this one was from niagara falls, new york. and this one was from seattle, washington. >> the idea was to keep people out of people's homes because you didn't know who was going in. but don't tell that to newfoundlanders. that's not the way. they saw somebody walking down the street from the plane they would let them into their house and let them sleep and shower. i was just the thing to do. >> i would've loved to take a novel workshop here if i had the room. i would've brought the whole rest of them appear. that's just who i am. >> of thousands of stranded travelers had settled into their temporary homes with just the clothes on their backs.
soon, donated clothing began to flood into the shelters. with food, shelter and clothing now taking care of, and many of the enders gas had other more serious concerns. >> many medications were in their check luggage and so the nurses coming in now, took the medical requirements for drug requirements that we worked with the hospital and the local pharmacy. >> the local pharmacy is provided to without charge. emergency medical care was ready and waiting at the local hospital. even the town stores open their doors to the air travelers, allowing them to take needed items off the shelves free of charge. >> and the shopping clerk indicted as to his house to take a shower.
so it's been like that ever since we've been here. we can't thank you guys and not for what she's done. >> the outpouring of concern and assistance by the people of gander left gets overwhelmed with attitude and trend gratitude. >> is just another silly amazing what they've done for us. >> we are so appreciated that everyone has rolled out the red carpet for us and we feel almost like celebrities. >> i've been staying here at the academy. and the people are real nice. >> is incredible how generous and how friendly and just downright nice everyone has been here. >> i just cannot believe how out of the way people have gone to be kind to us. in a circumstance like this come you could not ask for anything more. >> while the people of gander and other canadian towns and
cities are struggling to assist stranded air travelers coming to canada u.s. border was all but shut down. >> right after the attacks come the border pretty much came to his aunt still. the nurses who lived in windsor and worked in the detroit hospitals had to get special buses to get them across the border because they just couldn't get across. >> john manley could see an economic or in the works for canada. >> i knew this could have serious repercussions for canadian prosperity, canadian business, canadian playmate, many canadians across the border on a daily basis because they live in canada, work in the u.s. or vice versa. >> you have any fear the americans could put pressure -- >> media in canada and the united states began reporting that some of the suicide terrorists they have entered the u.s. from canada. >> as far as i am concerned with this activity that occurred in
new york and washington this week, there's no indication at this moment that those perpetrators are coming from canada. >> if we find that some of the terrorist came to canada and sent to the united states, i think that is going to suggest that we need to work together to make sure it doesn't happen again. i don't think we're going to be all to blame either country. >> in the shocks of the 9/11 attacks, americans are looking for a way to say it wasn't just our security system that will completely fill the fun that day. canadians were blaming coming to the europeans were to blame for some complicitous monist for failing to help protect united states. b. was unfounded, but remained even a decade after kind of a persistent urban legend, even routed the minds of some american politicians. >> we've been working against terrorism for some time. >> john manley urged his
government solidarity with the united states, but some of his cabinet colleagues wanted canada to say little about the attacks and be cautious in siding with the americans. >> my view was coming in now, we are in this with the united states, that we needed to very strongly assert our willingness to stand with them against the forces that it then so devastating in new york and washington. >> a reluctance to side with the americans quickly faded. just three days after the attacks, some 100,000 people gathered on parliament hill to pay their respects to the 9/11 victims and show solidarity with the united states. >> that they will never ever forget, walking under the parliament building, with prime minister chretien and our spouses than i really expected to see about 20, 25,000 people
in front of the parliament welding. and there were 100,000 people waving the canadian and american flags, seeing both of our national anthems, something i will never, ever forget. ♪ and the home of the brave. >> canada's best friend and neighbor had come under attack. canadians stood shoulder to shoulder, some weeping, some praying, many still in disbelief. >> we hope the largest 9/11 memorial event on the friday of that week on parliament hill. >> the prime minister of canada, chretien. >> he is the one who decided to have an outdoor memorial. we are not going to let the terrorists try this indoors. >> and the prime minister kept
it very simple and he would say things very well acquainted what he said. >> mr. ambassador, you are assembled before you hear a parliament hill and right across canada. deeply united in outrage and grief and compassion and in resolve. people of every faith and nationality to be found under. people who are resulted the atrocity against the united states on september 11, 2001, should not only like neighbors, but like family. at a time like this, words fail us. we real before the blondes and
terrible reality of the evil we have just witnessed. [applause] >> united states and canada and the freedom loving nations of this world will win this war against terrorism. [cheers and applause] >> three days after the memorial service, the government held an emergency debate to deal with the crisis. >> might i suggest the honorable members rise as we observe a moment of silence. >> prime minister chretien was firm in his resolve that canada's action would be measured once. >> we will stand with american as neighbors, as friends, as family. we will stand with our allies. we will do what we must to defeat terrorism, but let our actions be guided by a spirit of
wisdom and perseverance. >> the government and people of canada has demonstrated our solidarity with the united states, whatever it takes, our commitment is total and we will give our undivided support to the united states. [applause] >> there is no doubt now which side canada was on. >> canada's does not have a history as a pacifist or neutral country. canada has soldiers buried all over europe because the pot in defense of liberty and we are not about to back away from a challenge no because we think somebody might get hurt. but a year after the attacks, chretien was more critical of the americans. he said the u.s. and west must bear some responsibility for 9/11 because of the gap between rich and poor countries and because of u.s. foreign policy. a decade later, has chretien see
in any of her of not quite >> you're asking me to a seachange? i said there has been no change at all. fundamentally. in fact, when you look at the situation in the world today, there is a money going for the poor countries and this notion of sharing i don't hear any more. it used to be of value that canadians cherish. now nobody talks about sharing. >> in the wake of 9/11, canada moved quickly to do with the threat of global terrorism and answer in a u.s. concern that this country might be soft on security. within months, canada had joined the united states and other countries and operation enduring freedom in afghanistan. canada without war to wipe out the terrorist training ground of al qaeda and the taliban.
>> we went into afghanistan because it was the first time under the nato charter one of our members had been attacked. we thought it might've been the old soviet union, but happened to be the u.s. attack that can affect the terrorist group based in afghanistan. >> and mcclellan was the minister of justice for the government when it brought in the anti-terrorism act. the act gave law-enforcement agencies sweeping new powers to arrest and detain suspect a terrorist, even before any crimes have been committed. >> first of all, one must have a reasonable leave a terrorist act will take place. and then, in addition you must have a reasonable suspicion that the arrest of this specific person is necessary to prevent the terrorist act. >> the normal police approach is to wait for an offense to be committed and then deal with it. of course, in counterterrorist
and you don't want the offense to be committed. he wanted to stop at ahead of time, so it's a completely different approach. and then of course there is a whole series of terrorist related duties going on in canada, some quite open, that we couldn't do anything about. it wasn't illegal to raise funds for terrorist groups. it wasn't illegal to do reconnaissance for potential target. it wasn't illegal to recruit people to join a group. so the police used to monitor all matter about groups, but they couldn't do anything until the first bomb had been planted. then they can spring into action. >> the antiterrorism legislation we passed was controversial at the time has proven its worth. it is proven is capable of being fitted into the framework of the charter. it has proven workable in terms of the series now a very high profile and very significant terrorism. >> those high-profile trials
resulted in lengthy jail terms for seven toronto area muslim men who are part of the so-called toronto 18. group members were arrested for plotting to storm parliament hill and blow up toronto area landmarks, including the cn tower. rcmp surveillance video capture them gathering materials they plan to use to make a massive armed. a bomb with the same explosive power as one detonated at this test range. five years after the antiterrorism act became law, two of its most controversial clauses were allowed to lapse. one provision allowed police to hold suspects without laying charges for up to three days. the other compelled suspects to testify behind closed doors in front of a judge. the conservatives later tried and failed to win parliamentary approval to renew those causes. now with a majority government, that shouldn't be a problem.
>> when he devoutly anti-of the canadian islamic congress made submissions to the parliamentary justice committee, urging it to make changes to the legislation to moderate its more controversial powers. >> the last performed his touch a way that any act 250 those funds were involved in could be misconstrued as a terrorist activity. yes, we should have security. yes, governments are going to take some measures which we may not like, but to have sweeping measures in place and identified only one group. >> our civil rights are concerned? i don't think they've been curtailed. if the issue of racial profiling comes then, i don't even have a problem with it. >> on the day of the attacks, author tarek fatah was on the streets of toronto, where he experienced the sudden backlash is anti-muslim president.
>> there were still rumors they were planes headed to different cities. i was also sad on by some men who came into the television and spat on my face. very germanic. >> despite being shocked by the experience, fatah doesn't believe that canada's muslim community has experienced widespread prejudice more than has been unfairly targeted a security agencies. >> one hasn't heard the muslim population at all. i've come across the border, come and an out of candida moss both teams. >> we all look like the terrorists, the muslim names, they were the ones who are basically on the list and pulled out from the line in that.
>> if the chances of someone looking like me has a bigger -- has a bigger probability of being a terrorist, then your grandmother in a wheelchair, then i have absolutely no problem if i had picked out rather than your grandmother to say, on the site intact to me. >> the idea of targeting secondary screening procedures at airports and border crossings to higher risk individuals, so-called racial profiling islamic terrorism expert, john thompson, enthusiastically supports. >> political correctness is adding huge levels of expense to our airport. our refusal to focus our attentions on people that should be interesting, but instead subject to chinese grandmothers and jamaicans to strip searching, you know, and
everybody else, when they are not the problem. >> there is some members of the muslim community who say that this new legislation and come at these new measures in effect target had, that they feel they've been targeted by these measures. what do you say to that concerned? >> i don't think so. i think the people we've targeted, the organizations we targeted have all had an object is factual basis for which we have done that. this has not been capricious or discriminatory in the arbitrary sense. obviously focused our efforts on certain types of groups because of the dangers they pose. >> since 9/11, the canadian government has faced an ongoing challenge to unsolicited citizens with the right to reassure the united states that it takes border security seriously. >> i think we've been very careful to ensure that local liberties are respected, while at the same time, ensuring that
the security interest that has been expressed or voiced our also matt. i think that canadians, generally speaking, recognize the importance of security, both to the americans and consequently to less and have been actually quite understanding the changes that we've had to make. >> in december 2001, u.s. homeland security chief, tom ridge came to ottawa to meet with and minister of foreign affairs, john manley. >> the goal mr. manley and i had set for ourselves and respective countries from our first meeting was to work in collaboration and coordinate as best as possible the means with which we can provide mutual security at our borders, but also given the enormous interdependence of our mutual economies on the
continuing free flow of goods and services across those borders. >> with the account of the u.s. partnership between elements of the summer order record, principally our ideas and tom ridge came to ottawa, you know, i think around the 12th of december, so barely three months after 9/11 and saint smart border accord and we had a working plan to beat our engagement. it was to me the most important thing i could do in protection of canada's national interest to achieve some understanding of how he would conduct ourselves along the border. >> there were four main pillars to the smart order record. we secure the flow of people across the canada u.s. border, will also expediting the secure flow of goods. commitments were made to invest
in security infrastructure, such as airport passenger screening technologies and smart elegies to secure the trucking industry. the fourth and most controversial element was the joint coordination of law enforcement agencies and an agreement to share intelligence data. >> we want to put more emphasis on the openness of the border, continued trade on the movement of goods. the americans wanted a much were emphasis on security, with no easy way to find a happy medium between those things we continue to struggle and the current manifestation is the idea of a north american security perimeter, which we haven't quite seen. >> my view at the time is that a security perimeter around north america was the most effect way to deal with this. you need to put a fence up there and say, let's keep the bad guys out. put your energy and resources into the places where they might be boarding those planes or
boats or trains. because if you try to do it internally, it becomes an endless and very, very costly process. >> i was the first one to mention perimeter security. i said that shortly after the 9/11 attacks. i've got a call from prime minister chretien who says some canadians will introduce a parameter, that the border is going to disappear. i said i don't mean not at all. i southall you out, i'll call it the zone of confidence. i started calling it the zone of confidence, so it's funny 10 years later they're back to perimeter security. >> a north american security perimeter has been under negotiation for almost a decade, driven largely by the desire of industry to satisfy the americans that the canadian border is secure. the man who was foreign minister now speaks for the giant canadian business. >> i don't have a problem with
the fact that they are becoming very concerned. it is ultimately the principle role of government to ensure that its population can live with a degree of security and peace in their country and in their homes. and given that they are a huge degree our largest customer, it is legitimate for us to be concerned about what our customers worried about. >> the americans thereafter 100% vision of complete security at the borders on the still kind of responding to the shock of the 9/11 attacks. canadian saving the americans, 100% border is not achievable. you could never direct something of that kind. let's focus on what we agree at the real threats and targeted measures against this bill press is enough or we can find the point of harmony. >> the interception of the human smuggling ship, the sun sea off the coast of british columbia in
august 2010 raised fears that among the hundreds of would-be refugee seekers onboard were members of terrorist organizations. the incident was just the kind of red flag lawmakers in washington could raise, calling for canada to toughen the sport or revises refugee and immigration policies. >> that i will be faithful. >> the issues monthly as an infringement on canadian sovereignty. >> i share that concern because i'm an old-fashioned canadian nationalists and they make no apologies for it. i believe in the canadian way of life and the way we govern ourselves and very strong about the need to protect our sovereignty. >> ever international agreement is a compromise of sovereignty, whether talking about the geneva accord for climate change agreements or anything. there's always a compromise of sovereignty there. so, sovereignty is not an absolute concept.
it is constantly being compromised. >> there is not going to be any surrender of sovereignty in this process. there just isn't. that was a clear vision of the president and prime minister. i involved, as they say many discussions over the last several months. but it's just not an issue. >> with this perspective. 80% of our goods traveling to the united states. obviously, millions of canadian jobs depend on that trade relationship. we want to see that trade relationship continue, as do americans. americans understand the trade relationship is very important for their citizens as well. the prime minister has made it very clear that if this is simply a security issue and will just create another layer of security, without any benefits in terms of the flow of traffic at people between our two countries, then the agreement is
up for pursuing. so for us, there are discussions and interests that we need to resolve and we will do that. >> i have a very high degree of confidence that we are going to get there. at this time, there is a dedication on both sides of the border, by people at the highest levels of both of our government , that we've got to get this thing done. i think if everybody just kind of takes a deep reds and waits to see how this thing plays out and comments on the actual plans in the actual proposals as opposed to what people feared they'd be in the actual proposals, they'll be a bit more comfortable. >> the horrifying attacks that took case on september 11, 2001, cast a pall over the decades
with every anniversary of 9/11 from ordinary citizen and politicians have reflect it on what that day meant to them and how it changed their lives. >> it is the day that changed the world. it certainly changed my world on a very personal way. they changed everyone's world. it's a global event and canada has a role to play in the global community. >> what happened south of the 49th is what happens north of the 49th. we are in this together. a kind of work we are used to fighting with bad guys and good guys in white hats and black lines of demarcation lines is never the way it's ever going to happen again. >> the problem first-tier charity that we all face is more a security than a danger of a
real war with one country facing the army armies of another country. i don't think that will see a lot of it in the future. the new very much the type of travel by financing in a different part of the world that will be the most difficult problems that the governments were it not safe. >> and what about the day itself? the anniversary of so much destruction, of so much loss, what will the people we spoke to be thinking about on that day? >> i think it's a time to reflect on those who lost their lives. we are of course still saddened by that loss. families, the hands of terrorists carry that burden with them for the rest of their lives. but we also have to remember that the fight against terrorism is an ongoing fight, that we should be reminded of that, that these terrorists are not simply
against one country, that they are against a way of life in that way of life includes the values and life that canadians have here. that is one of the concerns that we have about home-grown radicalism. why do things like that happen in a place like canada? that individuals can't hear and are here second and third generation and then become radicalized and create problems of terrorism for their fellow citizens? it is simply not understandable in all aspects. we do have to continue to be vigilant to ensure that those types of activities are rooted out. >> i would love to say, i think the worst is behind us. osama bin laden is dead and the key leaders of al qaeda are dead, that maybe we can begin to
relax, but regrettably i don't think that's the case. the world is a dangerous place. >> i think if you go back to worst of bangkok. but if you talk to the people that live here and gander that they thought the best of mankind and they left with a new sense of hole. they left with a new sense of pride, that they still went away thinking they are so good people in our society. >> i'm going to have these memories that i will have with me forever really have the unbelievable that an overwhelming response of the canadian government to the canadian people, helping my country.
i'm robert lutnick, welcomed those in attendance today as well as those watching on c-span. the wilson center was established by congress nation's official memorial to the 20th president. the center brings together in wilson's phrase, the thinkers and doers in the belief that an informed open and civil dialogue will lead to better understanding and cooperation and ultimately to better public policy. the center provides the auspices of our experts of every kind to address the major challenges in the united states and have their views tested in a rich program of events open to the public. today, as the nation marks the 10th anniversary this september 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on new york and washington, will address the vital challenges of border security since 9/11 and three conversation with three commissioners of u.s. customs and border protection. i did my note our neighbors here in the ronald reagan building. we will examine the consolidated
border security into one cbp in 2003 and out the rest of the nation's homeland have evolved over the last decade. in sponsoring today's event, the woodrow wilson center is delighted to be partnering with the history programs that documents the history and work at cbp and educate the public direct submissions, publications and programs such as today's event. let me introduce our distinguished panel. robert bonner was confirmed as commissioner of u.s. customs service one week after the attacks on 9/11. surely thereafter as part of the homeland security of your organization, he was appointed the first commissioner of u.s. customs and border protection, the unified order agency within the department of homeland security. mr. bonner, who is second on my left leftist former head of the drug enforcement administration is a federal district judge in los angeles.
ralph basham became commissioner in 2006, after a long career in law enforcement, including serving as head of the secret service and his chief of staff for the transportation security administration, where he designed and implemented the federal government takeover of security operations in airports nationwide. on my far left, alan bersin was committed customs border protection by president of him in 2010 and a served as assistant secretary for international affairs and border affairs at the department of homeland security as well as california secretary of education. leading today's conversation is one of the countries preeminent specialists on terrorism, bruce hoffman, professor at georgetown university's school of foreign service and director of the university center for peace and security studies. he's a former vice president of the rand corporation come as a resident for counterterrorism at
the central intelligence agency and is author of the now classic book, incite terrorism. he is also my dad a scholar at the woodrow wilson center where he cochairs are ongoing terrorism and homeland security for an eared professor hoffman will initiate today's conversation with commissioners and after 25 minutes or so, we'll open it up to questions from the floor. with that brief introduction, an attorney for two bruce hoffman to my immediate left. thank you, bruce. >> thank you, rod. what an extraordinary privilege to distribute these gentlemen today and to have the honor of engaging in discussion. i think we all know security and especially counterterrorism is an evolutionary process and of course were thankful to have the three commissioners of cpb here today to also underscore how it is also an injury process. i thought we might begin this discussion by asking them in sequence that they served, what were the gaps in our security, on our borders, and immigration
that they had to address immediately upon assuming office and how they address and in what turned the main challenges and office were. if i can start with you, mr. bonner. >> is pointed out, is literally reported for duty so to speak and washington on september 10, 2001. have i been burned yet. it is essentially serving as a consultant to the secretary of the treasury, when the attacks -- the terrorist attacks occurred in washington. and one of the very first things that i approved has been the acting commissioner was to go to the highest level security alert at our nation's ports of entry that our borders. and i think if nothing else, it became apparent there were huge gaps. first of all, the first recognition i had and it was on the morning of 9/11, was that we
had to essentially traumatically change the priority mission of the united states customs service says one of the principal border agencies of our country. we had to change it from the interdiction of contraband in the regulation of trade to a national security mission. that was a priority mission to preventing terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering the united states. so that much of a century before the morning and there, it occurred to me as it did to probably everybody else at the u.s. customs service that we have to change our priority mission. the results of going to level one alert was sent over the next day or two, i found out that it probably was the second commissioner of customs to have actually shut down our nation's borders because there are too virtually 100% inspection of all people in vehicles and trucks and cargo containers coming into the united states. and the reality was that the
wait times at the canadian border, for example, the major ports of entry at detroit and buffalo and so forth, the wait times went from an average of 10 minutes to get a tractor-trailer truck for somebody driving a passenger vehicle across the border to 12 hours, literally overnight. so that's when the second realization came to me, sometime on the second or third or fourth day after 9/11. and that is of course needed to ratchet up security, given the threats of global terrorism to the united states. but we have to do it in a way without choking off the trade and travel. we have to do it without shutting down our country's economy. so essentially, that meant developing what i very often called the twin goals. and the twin goals are to provide a level of security that makes it extraordinarily
difficult for terrorists or terrorist weapons to get into the united states, but do that without stanching the flow of legitimate trade and travel. and what we found out and working with some really extraordinary people at the u.s. customs service and the customs and border protection is that those things are not mutually exclusive. if you put into place the right programs and initiatives, which returned, not immediately, but took some time to do this, that you could actually provide a dramatic -- dramatic increase in security terms of both people and goods moving into the united states. but at the same time, do it in some cases faster and more efficiently than we were before 9/11. that meant putting into place partnerships at the trade, customs trade partnership being a prime example, putting into place partnerships with other countries around the world, the security initiative where we stationed officers and risk
managed targeted high risk cargo containers at foreign seaports before they moved to the u.s. seaports, we put that into place partnerships of other countries. we mandated advance information on every person and every cargo shipment, whether cargo containers, tracks, real and so forth in advance so we would be able to essentially evaluate the very small fragment represented a potential risk and make sure we are giving scrutiny and protection to does. on the other hand, most of those which didn't present a risk will be able to facilitate and move them through more quickly across our ports of entry into our borders. we also obviously put into place a heck of a letter to allergy. talk about gaps, customs did have large-scale nii, nonintrusive inspection technology, large scale x-ray
for tractor-trailer trucks. every single one of those is at the southern border with exit code and essentially because of the drug issue had nothing at the northern border. everything had to be physically inspected. leaving aside my enemy, with nothing in our nation's seaports, so we expanded the use of type knowledge he to all of our ports of entry so that when we decided that they needed to be looked at, when something needed to be infected because they pose particularly terrorist risk, they were able to do it faster and more efficiently than actually taking a look and physically inspect in a container. we also established radiation portal at every entry in the united states. it's amazing by the way and a real tribute to a lot of people in this room and some who weren't were able to roll that out so that now every car, truck, cargo container, every single one goes through
radiation portal monitors in terms of potentially detecting against the worst kind of terrorist weapon, which is a weapon of mass destruction. so there are lots of issues to deal with, i can assure you. but we did put into place, i would say, five key initiatives that are interrelated, that allowed us to be able to risk manage this process, in a way by the way, that other agencies were unable to. this is an important point. we were able to do this without congressional mandates. in other words, we were able to ask a question, how do we do this? what is the smartest way to do this and terms of partaking against a terrorist threat, without shutting off trade and travel into the united states? i think we came up with some very sound solutions that my successors here have built upon, no doubt about it.
we put into place the important building blocks to secure our country, to secure it against further potential terrorist acts and potential asymmetrical attacks on the united states, the cia and the military actually went on the attack overseas. >> well, mr. basham commute took over in 2608 threads had involved seriously, what were the challenges you face? >> thank you. i'm going to give my time to commissioner trent drape. [laughter] >> as always. last night's >> actually, i have to say when i was approached to be considered to be the commissioner here at cbp, i was the director of the secret service and somewhat of a daunting responsibility. ..
resources on the 99.9% of the people and of the things they were coming into the country. so, creating -- we have to be an intelligence driven organization. we just couldn't get it done in my opinion any other way so one of my first efforts was to create and build a more robust intelligence process. and secondly, my concern, and i know commissioner boehner's concern before me coming in by sure commissioner person after, of one of my biggest concerns was an inside threat to read all of the incredible efforts that had been put into place by this agency following 9/11 could be brought down by the efforts of one person who decided to not perform their functions or
mission, and whether it's drugs or illegal aliens or just someone coming here to find a job or a terrorist we could not allow that threat to bring us down and so we created and built a more and robust internal affairs office which mr. tom check in the room has done a fantastic job not that we didn't have our issues, but then a third, building upon the commissioners's efforts upon this partnership i knew from my years in the secret service that you can't get this job done alone i don't care how big you are, how well funded it takes working together and not just with our foreign partners but even with the departure of homeland security, building upon the incredible efforts that were
going on around the department i thought we needed to work more closely with our partners here as well as overseas so that's what i tried to focus on and in my time here and i can just tell you what i see out there today, you know, in comparison to what it was on september 10th, 2001 is just awesome and the foundation that you laid that i believe we are a much safer, not save that much safer nation today, and i was very happy to turn this job over to commissioner bersin when i left so you were in good hands as allstate would say. estimate your problem or challenges today go beyond just terrorism but the violence that is now escalated across the
border to see things in the united states and i wonder if he can discuss what your challenges are, what you have addressed and what your plans are for your priorities. >> this is a terrific opportunity in the presence of much of the family. [inaudible] sounds like a family. [laughter] to acknowledge colleagues who are now trusted friends to acknowledge the efforts of -- is this mine who? [inaudible] [laughter] >> to acknowledge their efforts in leading the people inside this room and outside the room and building an institution that is charged with border
protection. extraordinary to think that in the ten years since 9/11, eight years since the dhs was stood up that we are the border management agency that has ever been created and actually close to the world history that takes the traditional functions clearance immigration admissibility agricultural inspection and created a joint management under the rubric of the national security and it was a massive alteration and the every entrance to govern the border they were written history and in the real political dynamics that could not have been reversed absent the kind of cataclysmic change the was
created in the week of 9/11. since this base of the ten years we've created and cbp is at the forefront of this the whole notion of the homeland. americans were never comfortable with the notion or the concept of the homeland. we were as the commissioner reminded us in the sidebar we were protected by the two massive motions with the neighbors there were friendly to the north and canada to the south and mexico. we haven't fought the war with our neighbors in the case of canada since the 18th century and with mexico since the middle of the 19th century. so we had no concept of homeland security. our borders were relatively open. we didn't think in terms of borders and suddenly
particularly since the violation, 9/11 among other things was a genuine violation and an invasion of the country and in violation of our borders. so we needed to think about border protection as a doctor, homeland security as an enterprise, and we started to do that. and what i see our job, the leadership of the cbp today building on this foundation that the commissioners have fled before and we start to think of them in terms of not only the lines on the map that defied one country from another but we see the borders as actually beginning where the cargo is deleted in the port of shanghai when a passenger gets on the plane on the way to the united states, that's where the borders began and the challenges that we
face in terms of securing the flow of goods and people toward the homeland developing a doctrine of homeland security as a species of national security has involved this concept of advanced information which has been analyzed and risk assessed and then we attempt to segment the traffic so that we can use hour scarce resources of the last line of defense, which is actually the physical port of entry, the 330 land ports around the country but our work must begin far in advance. i think what i would say in terms of the gaps that we are exposed in the work that we've done is we learn both with the abdulmutallab case in christmas 09 and in the cargo plot from yemen in october 10 that we
really did need to do much more of our work, we needed to enlist time and space as allies in ways the we hadn't been able to do before because after all, yes, cbp officers have identified abdulmutallab as someone who would have been referred to secondary and perhaps admissibility of upon and a rival in detroit and yes, the cargo would have been identified for inspection coming from yemen pursuant to various search engines that we have in operation, but in both cases that would have been too late. the northwest airlines flight would have blown up over detroit, and the ups and fedex plane would have blown up over chicago had the terrorists had their way. so this idea of securing the
flow away and using the tools that the predecessors provided but taking them to the next level has been a major focus. in the actual physical wine and yes has been a major element from the beginning of cdp with an accent in the leadership of the commissioner, the notion that the border needed to be brought under the control actually the border with mexico is in the project of the 20 year effort beginning in the early 1990's, and i think what will become apparent over the next year, professor hoffman is that the last chapter in the first phase is about to end in arizona, though to we can secure the border, not see licht, not shut it down but secured it is
underway as a result of the magnificent effort and the 10% of cdp. 6,000 people are in arizona serving at the ports of entry in the air and on the ground between the ports of entry and the progress is remarkable and known to those who watch it closely but seem to be known by the american people. we will then enter a new phase on the land border but one that will likely involve the same tools and information collection, intelligence gathering analysis and risk-management applied to both the land borders as well as the securing of the goods and people coming to us. >> going back to sort of one of the biggest impact of 9/11 on
border security was the creation of a unified or a single border agency for the first time in the history of the country, and as allen said the first time in the history of the world we brought together in the customs and the border protection this new agency. we brought together the men and women from the different agencies of the government is then attached to the three different cabinet departments into one unified border agency and consolidated and merged the people and the functions and the legal authorities that the agencies brought to bear so that we get a comprehensive and effective effort particularly against the priority mission of preventing the terrorist weapons from entering the united states but that was an extraordinarily important change and i would submit that the unified border agency, customs and border protection is probably the best
idea that came out of the homeland security reorganization because it has made us more effective and actually more efficient as well in terms of how we manage the border. before 9/11, he went to a port of entry. there were free port directors. one was in charge of immigration, one was in charge of customs and agriculture inspections with people working under them but were e. essentially doing the same kinds of functions which is inspecting people and goods coming into the united states and so so this idea of creating a unified border agency which we have done is indeed a good government idea but also has made us more effective against the priority counterterrorism mission that we have had. i just know how i look at the time that there were seven independent studies conducted the nixon administration that had recommended the unification
merger of the border agencies and unfortunately it took the worst terrorist attack in the history of the world to make it happen but it has happened and it has made our country safer and has made the management more efficient in the ability to do things like pushed the border of words essentially set up the border isn't the first one in defense. >> we need to move very soon to open the floor to questions so let me ask one more question to all three of you. i'm going to ask into parts. first the 9/11 commission a number of recommendations were improving the security of the united states to prevent another tragedy like 9/11 and of course one of their aspects was on improving border security. i wonder if you could describe what you think as being the most important initiative taken by the cbp to both fulfill the 9/11 mandate on the recommendations and then finally before we open
up the floor to questions you can say something about what concerns you the most looking as the terrorist threat continues to evolves that we will face in the future. >> probably the most important things and these are consistent with recommendations to the 9/11 commission, one was the ability to easily get advanced electronic information for every person and every cargo shipment moving towards the united states. it was building the national targeting center which we did and using an automated targeting system with strategic intelligence and analysis to identify those people and the cargo shipments that might pose a potential risk and then using the resources and ability to question people and powers and authorities to deny admission and essentially by the way denied the ability of the cargo
container in singapore to the united states if we are concerned about but also able to inspect it overseas. the last two things the were very important is and i can't stress enough is the partnering with the trade which is the private sector which owns and operates the supply chain through the customs trade partnership on terrorism to get essentially the private sector to improve which they dramatically have done the security of the supply chain literally from a foreign loading docks all the way to the united states to meet the standards cbp as part of the program and in the partnership with other nations that have been diluted to which canada and mexico but also other nations in terms of essentially getting their cooperation and assistance and inspecting not only containers,
but we have also people oversees international airports that we can intervene before people actually board airplanes for the united states if we have serious security concerns about them. but i think those are consistent with the recommendation of the 9/11 commission we've put a lot of this in place before the 9/11 commission but i think they endorsed what we've done a thing to be concerned about now actually deferred to the commissioner bersin with the current level of concerns that include at least according to the public reporting in "washington post" today for some specific information against a potential terrorist attack in new york or washington so i will defer to mr. bersin on that question to the estimate in
terms of the 9/11 commission recommendations, of course we were a part of that, we were all of that initiatives but in terms of the mandate to secure the borders that in my mind sort of got out of proportion. if you recall some time around the time that i became the commissioner there was a huge focus on immigration reform, integrated immigration reform but because they were not able to succeed in that, the focus became we have to seal our borders, and cdp, we want you to go down and build the 2,000 miles of the census. you can't just pick up the phone and call and have them come out. [laughter]
which we all knew that that wasn't the answer, that wasn't the solution. it was more than just technical infrastructure, it was a level of staffing on the ground. i remember i had a trip with the speaker of the time i forget exactly where but he kept insisting to me that the only way to secure the border is to build a sense and i insisted that wasn't the answer and secretary napolitano told me if you build a 10-foot fence been hit and the latter which is absolutely correct so we were down on the border driving along one day and saw this penitentiary there in arizona and had a chain-link fence barbwire and he said that's what
we need right there across the entire border. i said with all due respect, no. so we spent three days on the border, visited the border patrol, the ports of entry, visited the incredibly difficult terrain and at the end of the three days having gotten briefings from these marvelous people come he stood up in front of a camera and a press conference and said what we need down here is a three-pronged approach. we need technology and capital and infrastructure and a direct level of people and was the most destructive thing for us at that time and challenge the congress for making decisions never understanding with the challenges were to read and we were chasing our tail of literally trying to keep up with these mandates that somehow we accomplish it.
we build 670 miles of the defense and hire thousands of border patrol agents and the great efforts of these folks i will pass the buck over to the current commissioner. the adversaries are focused and fascinated by the aviation, but we have a challenge out there on the maritime of the general aviation the we don't yet have and we need to get better control of that. imagine the uss coley event in the port of los angeles. that is why i was very happy to turn this responsibility over to the commissioner bersin
[laughter] is a mumbai-style attack. >> but the simplicity of pulling something like that off and the consequences are absolutely devastating to the economy and the country. how many ships were backed up? >> 45% of the containers that come to the united states annually come to the point of long beach which is one part so it would be massively destructive but i also worry about a mumbai attack but we now have the commissioner bersin. [laughter] >> i don't know that this would be the royte study for me to share exactly what keeps me a bad night. [laughter] we actually need to be concerned with not fighting less war but the classic state that is made
in history that we should attempt to avoid and i really want, we do have vulnerabilities and there are gaps of the small boats and we've made enormous gains in terms of general aviation and the security of that process. but there are other areas when he of the protection of the threats where we will continue to improve. as we have unfolded the doctrine of homeland security and border protection, the 9/11 commission was extraordinary in terms of its analysis of the problem and then the congress in the way in which our system of government operates the congress has legislated and as the commissioner indicated and not disrespectfully the congress operates with a very broad and lo and i think what we've learned of cbp and dhs generally
advice to take the initiative to anticipate these problems and to take action, and the exhibit offer for the proposition is something that is ongoing now and will become more and more featured in the homeland security efforts, which is partnership with as the commissioner indicated a new level in the private sector. we cannot actually accomplish this goal without being in partnership with private sector and given their involvement the private supply chain travel after the mccardle plot of 2010 we started to address it in a way we hadn't before which is from day one we broke the private sector into the discussion and rather than designing and mandating an approach to security we actually
coke created it in the case of the express carriers to deal with and the best way in which to build and share information sweden protect against the use of the express carrier network for the terrorist purposes. i believe that would become the model in which we do this, and it's basically through that mechanism that we would overcome a dichotomy that we need to overcome in the next decade. we always recognized within those outside baseball and inside cbp have recognized it because i think we need to make this much more a stable knowledge of the part of the american people, which is the security are not mutually exclusive not only are the exclusive and enough ethical to one another without we at cbp increasingly believe that they are the same process that in
fact we cannot increase our security profile unless we expect a 99.5% of the trade and travel that is legitimate so that we can focus our resources on the dangerous people and the dangerous things with a high risk cargo and high-risk persons and we can have both economic security and competitiveness can a physical national security is a very important idea that we are leaving at cbp in the building on a very distinguished foundation. >> following on that point, if you think about, and commissioner boehner mengin beverley iran it was taking 12 hours to get a container across the borders did not care how we
attack us but it is flying planes in the buildings are blowing up subways or destroying the economy. they force us to not strike the balance of of security and facilitation of legitimate trade and travel they have one and we just cannot tolerate that. >> we have about 20 minutes for questions so if you could please stand up and keep your questions brief and identify yourself and your institutional affiliation if any. yes, sir. >> i'm with of the national defence magazine. for the commissioner can we talk about the future you mentioned scarce resources, the prognosis is they are going to get scarce. what are you planning as far as i guess the current divesting some of the things put in place in the last ten years?
are you looking at reducing the number of border patrol agents and man-hours, technology investment and so on? thank you. >> having created the first joint border management agency that has ever existed, i would say that over the last eight years the corporate merger dimensions of that enterprise and accomplished in terms of bringing together the four agencies of the department's and they did the mission integration and there are agencies we can reinvest in the trade security and border security and securing a flow of goods and functions that we serve on the mission sense, yes, we will be not
doubling in size but i believe that we have reached a sworn force just under 46,000 men and women at the front line of the ports and between the ports and the consequence of the delivery systems that we now employed i think we will be able to increase without significant additional growth. that growth is not restored budget wise, but i don't think it means we will be able to make important investments in our people and in our technology and re-engineering of the way we do business. >> i am the representative to the united american states. nk